Database design is defined as: "design the logical and physical structure of one or more databases to accommodate the information needs of the users in an organization for a defined set of applications". The design process roughly follows five steps:
1. Planning and analysis
2. Conceptual design
3. Logical design
4. Physical design
The data model is one part of the conceptual design process. The other, typically is the functional model. The data model focuses on what data should be stored in the database while the functional model deals with how the data is processed. To put this in the context of the relational database, the data model is used to design the relational tables.
The functional model is used to design the queries which will access and perform operations on those tables.